By Mahita Gajanan
January 26, 2018

An Arizona restaurant won a James Beard Award for its signature dish: a hot dog that costs $3.50.

El Guero Canelo, located in Tucson, Az., was one of give restaurants to win a 2018 America’s Classics award — a designation given to regional, typically family-owned establishments that are “cherished for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal,” according to the James Beard Foundation. The award-winning dish is El Guero Canelo’s Sonoran-style hot dogs — a Tuscon tradition that puts an elaborate twist on the traditional dish. Sonoran hot dogs involve wrapping franks in bacon, stuffing them into Mexican bolillo rolls, and dousing them in beans, onions, mustard, jalapeño sauce and mayonnaise.

El Guero Canelo owner Daniel Contreras told Tucson Weekly that the honor was ‘incredible’ if a little confusing — he was not really aware of the James Beard Foundation prior to receiving the award.

“First of all, like I told everybody else, I didn’t even know who they were,” Contreras said. “This is incredible that we have been honored.”

James Beard named Contreras “the leading hotdoguero” in Tucson. “The Sonoran hot dog evinces the flow of culinary and cultural influences from the U.S. to Mexico and back,” the foundation noted in its list of winners.

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